A new diet study just out from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition went to a lot of trouble to prove the obvious. When it comes to weight loss, how much you eat matters more than the proportion of fat, carbohydrate, and protein in your foods.
Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center got volunteers to eat diets that were supposed to differ in proportions of fat (40% vs 20%), carbohydrates (35% vs. 65%), and protein (25% vs. 15%).
The results of the study are consistent with the findings from many previous studies:
- The major predictor for weight loss was adherence to the diet.
- People on all of the diets lost weight by six months, but regained some of it by two years.
- The study had a high drop-out rate (hence the importance of adherence).
- It was hard for people to stick to the diets, especially those at the extremes of one dietary component or another.
-Marion Nestle, Food Politics
This news is not necessarily earth shattering but it is definitely overshadowed by many health fads and lobbying efforts. Marion Nestle concludes her article with the same fact-of-the-matter, the-answer-is-in-front-of-your-eyes tone:
The bottom line: all diets work if you stick to them.
I suppose I don’t need to say how much I admire this woman.